Investors digest U.S. inflation data, earnings


European stocks inched slightly higher on Thursday as global market players digested the latest U.S. inflation data, which showed persistent price rises.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.3% by late-afternoon, boosted by a 3.9% surge in mining shares. At the opposite end, Europe’s basket of travel and leisure stocks dipped around 1%.

Traders began the day digesting the latest U.S. inflation data released on Wednesday, which showed that October’s consumer price reading jumped at the hottest annual pace in more than three decades.

The consumer price index jumped 6.2% from a year ago, well above the 5.9% estimate from economists polled by Dow Jones. On a monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.9% against the 0.6% estimate.

Major indexes on Wall Street fell following the inflation data release while U.S. Treasury yields climbed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note last stood at 1.558%. Yields move inversely to prices.

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Following the CPI data, traders moved up their expectations for when the first Fed rate hike would occur. The Fed funds futures market now sees greater odds of the central bank’s first full rate hike coming in July 2022.

On Wall Street, the major averages mostly moved higher, with tech names like Nvidia and AMD rallying. In Asia, stocks closed Thursday’s session mixed.

Earnings in Europe on Thursday came from Bilfinger, Delivery Hero, Merck, RWE, Siemens, Aviva, Tate & Lyle and Burberry, among others.

Siemens beat sales and profit expectations for the quarter and projected further profitable growth as it expects supply chain bottlenecks to ease in 2022. Shares of the German industry group climbed 3%.

Auto Trader was the biggest climber on the Stoxx 600 by mid-afternoon deals, surging 15.3% after the British car advertiser delivered strong forward guidance.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British chemicals maker Johnson Matthey plunged 17.2% after announcing plans to exit its battery materials business along with the departure of its CEO, while warning on annual results.

Burberry shares, meanwhile, fell 5.2% as investors balked at the British luxury brand’s third-quarter earnings report.

On the data front in Europe, U.K. GDP grew by 0.6% in September, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday, while figures for the previous months were revised downward, leaving the economy still 0.6% smaller than it was in February 2020 before the country’s first Covid-19 lockdown.

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– CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this market report.

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